Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gooey Butter Cake, the Peanut Butter Version

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, my sweet girl asked me to make something sweet.  I hadn't been to the store and I didn't plan to leave the house.  I knew I had a yellow cake mix in the pantry and I tried to pass that off on her.  She wasn't having it.  Furthermore, she became more specific with her demands and said she wanted "something peanut butter", of which I had plenty.  Hmmmm, yellow cake mix and peanut butter.  What to do? Over the holidays I made a Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake, recipe courtesy of Paula Deen.  SIDEBAR: Speaking of Paula, leave her alone about her diabetes! She really doesn't know you and therefore doesn't owe you her health records.  Ok, off my soapbox.  I found this Peanut Butter version of the Gooey cake and it did not disappoint.  It was even better served cold the next day!  

For the crust:
1 box of yellow cake mix *the PB version called for a chocolate cake mix but I used yellow
1 egg
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted
*the recipe did not call for it, but I added about a 1/4 of peanut butter here too.

For the Filling:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound box of confectioners sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted
1 cup of creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with Non-Stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, the egg, and the melted butter. Pat the dough down into the bottom of the glass baking dish. Set aside.

In the same bowl, mix together softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the confectioners sugar. Beat well and then slowly add the butter until all ingredients are well mixed. Pour onto crust and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

When you go to take it out of the oven, it will seem awfully "gooey" in the center but it will set up as it cools.

As I mentioned, if you really want to send this over the top, put it in the fridge over night.  You will thank me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Foodie Finds

We spent another fabulous weekend in Eureka Springs. This time we were lucky to have our good friends join us. This time of year is the off season, so things are especially quiet around there. We ate, shopped, and ate some more. Did I mention we ate? Wow, I am feeling pretty sure that I can go without eating until at least mid week. I'm also wondering what in the world I might fit into for work tomorrow. Thank God for leggings! Here are a few of the things I picked up on our shopping extravaganza.
Have you all heard of a Butter Bell?  Well apparently, butter doesn't need to be refrigerated.  It's the air, not the temperature that can cause butter to go rancid.  The Butter Bell is a little crock that you put water in to create a seal around the bell part where the butter is stored.  This way, you have soft, spreadable butter at the ready all the time. 
So, here it is just keeping my butter all ready to go for me. You really should check this thing out. 
This is the best coffee in the world.  Yes, you are reading that right, it's Christmas Blend.  Apparently, this flavor is so popular that they keep it in stock year 'round.  It really doesn't have that typical "Christmas-y" taste you think of when you think Christmas Blend.  It's an almond vanilla flavor that is perfect.  I bought this as part of a Secret Pal gift during the Holidays and the gift-ee hunted me down to find out where I got it.  I picked her up 2 more bags on this trip.  Gourmet Eureka will ship this stuff to your door, I highly recommend it.

If you like Bloody Mary's this mix is the best we've tried.  It's also good to cook with, but the hubs hates it if he wants one of his delish Bloody Mary's and I've used the mix in what's cookin'.  This mix doesn't need any "doctoring" up, it's just spicy enough and has a good little kick to it.  I haven't been able to find this locally, but I have been keeping an eye out.  This also came from Gourmet Eureka.

We had such a great time with our friends, it was fun sharing our favorite spots with them.  We are lucky to have such good friends that we treasure, we really don't get to spend enough time with them, so this was an extra special treat. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brain Dump

I like to read these types of posts, if you don't care about the most mundane details, you might as well stop reading now.  I happen to enjoy it when the bloggers I read have these "brain dump" posts. So, here goes:
  • I didn't drink near enough water over the holidays.  I'm going to be making lots of trips to the bathroom until my body gets accustomed to it again.
  • I'm growing my hair out.  I don't even know if I will like it, but all these cute hair do's on Pinterest made me want to give it a go.
  • When I look at old pictures of when my hair was longer, I feel like I look like a country and western singer.  Not in a Carrie Underwood kind of way, more like an old school Loretta Lynn kind of way.  Not good.  Why am I growing my hair out again?
  • I can't wait to meet my nephew that's still cooking in my sister's oven.  Hurry up, Sam!
  • I'm sad I won't get my "baby fix" as often as I'd like because my sister doesn't just live up the street anymore.
  • I'm sure it was obvious to anyone who snooped into my grocery cart yesterday that I'm cleaning up my eating.  My cart was the cliche' "It's the new year and I need to lose 10 pounds" cart. 
  • I miss the "it's the holidays so I can eat this" cart.
  • I've been using Latisse for a few months now and I can't imagine going without it.
  • I want to start reading again, but I feel like I don't have time.
  • The reason I don't have time to read is that I have too many shows on my DVR list.
  • I love clearing my DVR list.
  • I still can't get used to the earlier start time at school.  I would really love to go back to the old time.
  • We are going back to Eureka Springs this month, this time with friends.  It never gets old.
  • I want to move into one of those precious historic houses in Eureka and open a little eatery.
  • I planned to cook this tonight.  As a matter of fact, it's still marinating in the fridge.
  • I was so hungry when I got home from work, I ate the rest of these.
  • I tried to watch the Bachelor, it made me want to punch someone.
  • I wonder how those bakers on Cupcake Wars come up with such interesting flavor combinations on the fly.
I really could go on and on, but I'm sure your head is spinning.  Thanks for letting me share my random thoughts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Easy Weeknight Supper

One of our New Year's Day traditions is to have ham and cheese sliders on our table.  We've been making these before they were actually called sliders.  We just call them "the sandwiches".  As we were snacking away yesterday, my daughter asked why we don't have these any other time.  I really didn't have an answer for her; they are easy to put together, everyone in the family loves them, and they make great leftovers.  I think they would make a great week night supper, especially great for busy families that don't always get to eat at the same time.  I'd add a steaming bowl of your favorite soup or throw together a green salad and call it good. 
Not just for New Year's Da;y!
Photo from The Girl Who Ate Everything
"the sandwiches"
24 King's Hawaiian Rolls (2 pkgs. of 12 or 24 pack from Sam's)
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

Poppy seed sauce
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Helpful Hint: When you open the rolls, don't pull them all apart into individual rolls.  It makes life easier if you just use a long serrated knife and cut through the middle of them all together. You will have all the roll bottoms and all the roll tops in one piece. It makes assembling the sandwiches go lots faster. You can just cut them apart after they are cooked.

Spread the mayo all over the bottom piece. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss on top of each roll.  Replace the top piece of the rolls. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the butter kind of soak in to all the crevices. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

** sandwiches can be assembled a day ahead and kept in the fridge ready to bake.
**try them with turkey and/or other cheeses.
**my daughter doesn't eat meat, so I just make hers with double cheese, still delicious!